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Publishers WeeklyIn this survey and discussion of Pablo Picasso's drawings over the first three decades of his career, Galassi and McCully pair insightful commentary with a dazzling selection of work from this period of artistic formulation and invention. The son of artist and teacher José Ruiz Blasco, Picasso showed early promise in his mastery of classical techniques. Even as a student, he "was able to deconstruct the academic method" to create "a new formal language." In their discussion of earlier portraits and studies, such as Portrait of the Artist's Father, the Self Portrait of late 1901/early 1902, and Mother and Child on Shore , Galassi and McCully show the pervasive influence of 19th Century masters such as Ingres and Daumier on the artist. Particularly engrossing are Picasso's drawings and collages between 1910 and 1914, such as Violin and The Cup of Coffee, in which can be seen the development of a "cubist repertoire of abstract shapes, broken up and manipulated to express multiple or ambiguous meaning." During and after WWI, as Cubism became incorporated into the avant-garde, Picasso turned back to a more neo-classical approach, while retaining a "relationship with classical form that is anything but straightforward." As this well written, highly detailed study makes clear, these first three decades of drawings reflect the endless innovation of this 20th century master, who famously quipped: "I don't know if I'm a great painter, but I am a great draftsman." 200 illus.
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